Today marks the 10-year anniversary of my first longitudes post. It also precedes my wife and me migrating to a warmer clime for six months, where I won’t have access to a (real) computer. Therefore, I’ve decided to go on indefinite hiatus.
I’ve truly enjoyed writing these 240 or so essays and am grateful to all who take time to read. I’ve tried to keep a mix of lighthearted and serious—life, after all, is both. With the lighthearted, I hope I’ve provoked a smile or laugh. With the serious, maybe I’ve encouraged (in my amateurish way) some considerations.
In that light, here are some of my favorite lighthearted and serious quotes. And to get one last lick in, I encourage all to watch a new documentary on the late George Carlin, entitled George Carlin’s American Dream.
While most of my heroes are musicians, comedian Carlin is one of the exceptions. He was not only damn funny, he had guts and integrity and was unafraid to butcher sacred cows. He remade himself several times, getting better with each remake. And it goes without saying we agree on a lot of things. I could easily list a hundred Carlin quotes, but in the interest of variety, I’m limiting myself to four.
We need you now more than ever, George.
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups—George Carlin
Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance—George Carlin
Rights are an idea. They’re just imaginary. They’re a cute idea. Cute…Rights aren’t rights if someone can take ’em away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of TEMPORARY privileges; and if you read the news, even badly, you know the list gets shorter, and shorter, and shorter—George Carlin
When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts—George Carlin
If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses—Lenny Bruce
The Jefferson and Lincoln memorials are stunning but you look at the dome of the Capitol and remember the mob that stormed it in the name of a miserable lie that is being repeated this election year and how do you explain this? The mob went to the same schools we did, learned about Jefferson and Lincoln, and yet they are fascinated by fascism and long for a dictator—Garrison Keillor
I went to church Sunday morning, which I need to do if I want to know whether I’m a believer still or if it’s just nostalgia—Garrison Keillor
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire—Winston Churchill
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself—Mark Twain
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect—Mark Twain
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind—Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library—Frank Zappa
The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced—Frank Zappa
Republicans stand for raw unbridled evil, and greed, and ignorance, smothered in balloons and ribbons—Frank Zappa
Liberals can understand everything but people who don’t understand them—Lenny Bruce
I am really enjoying the new Martin Luther King Jr. stamp – just think about all those white bigots licking the backside of a black man—Dick Gregory
Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war, for killing people. We received ours for entertaining other people. I’d say we deserve ours more—John Lennon
Agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilisation—Oscar Wilde
All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised—Oscar Wilde
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel—Samuel Johnson
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing—Socrates
Modern Christianity is an encyclopedia of traditional superstition—Gore Vidal
Are we a dream in the mind of a deity, or is each of us a separate dreamer, evoking his own reality?—Gore Vidal
The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country…and we haven’t seen them since—Gore Vidal